Here's a quick and easy way to think outside of the box when you're working with fabric in your home: check to see whether your fabric is "reversible". The dragonflies in the frames above were made from two squares cut from the same piece of fabric. The first is the front side of the fabric, and the second is the reverse (or back) side of the same fabric.
I was introduced to this concept years ago when I read Rachel Ashwell's books. Ashwell, founder of "Shabby Chic" style, advocated using the back side of cotton fabrics (chintzes, for example) for projects such as pillows to create a soft, worn, vintage look. Here is an example of this concept in action. This photo shows the front of a bold Ralph Lauren fabric (this is a sheet)--the second photo is the back side of the same fabric:
Not all fabrics are limber enough to accomplish these acrobatic feats, but this is a good tip to keep in mind when you are refreshing a room on a budget and trying to work with what you already have. Remember also to think like a Martian. Whether you're looking at curtains, sheets, or a tablecloth, it's all just fabric in the end--fabric that can potentially be transformed into something else!